Infertility and Keto

My personal journey on the Keto diet and why I am endorsing it

The Who: As I sit here in the dark due to an ice storm power outage, I have been left with plenty of time to reflect. I have the most precious son, I am married to the most thoughtful and hard working man, I have the best friends and family, I love my job…you get the picture right? I am is enormously blessed and filled.  But behind every “perfect” picture are battles and heartbreak that many know nothing about. Over the past year I have been struggling with amenorrhea (lack of menstrual cycle) and have been diagnosed with PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome).

Rewind to January 2017- My husband and I made the super exciting decision that we were ready for baby #2. I made an appointment to have my birth control implant removed and we would just leave the rest in God’s powerful hands! So we waited…and waited..6 months later I had yet to have a cycle, which is kind of a VERY important step when you are “trying”. Now let’s fast forward to December 2017- after rounds of hormones (including clomid), blood work, ultrasounds, and waiting I was told that I have PCOS. Because I was failing to ovulate even while taking clomid, my doctor was left purplexed.  He felt that my case was beyond his experience and he referred me to a specialist in Houston. At this point I was discouraged.  I wanted to get past the holidays and research my options before meeting with the specialist.  I first began by reaching out to other women with PCOS and found that it was more common than I thought, which gave me hope.  I wanted to find a way to naturally reverse or reduce the effects of PCOS if possible.  An important fact about PCOS is that women become insulin resistant, meaning their body is not pushing out the insulin hormone (found in carbs/ sugars) which increases the levels of testosterone in the body, which results in loss of the menstrual cycle and infertility. I was encouraged by my doctor (and others) to try a low carb diet to limit the amount of insulin in my body.  This is where my Keto journey began.

The What: Simply put, a ketogenic diet significantly restricts carbohydrate intake, while focusing heavily on high (healthy) fats and moderate protein.

The Why: From a PCOS point of view, the biggest benefit of this diet is that your need for insulin drops.  This is helpful because those with PCOS normally have high levels insulin which can cause the ovaries to produce too much testosterone and make symptoms worse.

Another awesome benefit when we restrict carbohydrates is that it forces our body to use fat for fuel, instead of glucose. The burning of fat instead of glucose creates a by-product called ketones, hence the name of the keto diet.

Other benefits of a KETO diet include (but are not limited to):

  • Weight Loss
  • Reduced Cravings
  • Improved Energy
  • Mental Focus
  • Feel Full Longer
  • Improved Cardiovascular Health
  • Reduced Acne

The How: By now you know that I have PCOS and, I am looking at ways to naturally managing and reduce the symptoms. For the past 2 weeks, my husband and I have been following a strict ketogenic diet. I know 2 weeks is not that long time but I am super pumped about our results so far and I NEEDED to share my experience with you so far.

Before going keto, my diet was pretty good. I generally followed a diet that consisted of high vegetable, moderate protein, no dairy and no gluten. So my starting point was probably a bit healthier than the standard diet. Here is what we did.

    1. Do Your Research- knowledge is power and will help ensure your success.  Make sure you are knowledgeable and aware of all aspects of the Keto lifestyle. We began by reading The Keto Diet: The Complete Guide to a High Fat Diet by Leanne Vogel. It will literally answer any question you may have or will have about Keto.  It included several meal plan options and great recipes. Find how to Calculate you Macro needs Here!
    2. Make an Achievable Goal- Our goal is to follow a strict Keto diet for 30 days and then evaluate the results. Pretty straightforward and simple.
    3. Download the Senza App- This was crucial in our initial success. This apps begins by taking some basic information, then it generates an estimate of how many fats, proteins and carbs you should consume each day based on your age, weight, activities and goals. It has a very user friendly journal where you can input your meals to see where you are each day.  It has really helped us to see what foods are good, high fat options and what foods we should be avoiding. ( My mother follows the Keto Diet for reducing inflammation. She uses the Fat Secret App to track her food intake.)
    4. Be Prepared- Get rid of foods that are high in carbs and stock your home with thoses that are high in fats.  This was really fun for us!  I mean our fridge was filled with cheese, bacon, eggs, avocado, whipping cream, pesto, nuts…how can this not be fun!  Find a Full Ketogenic Diet Food List here. I also suggest you purchasing Ketone Testing Strips. You can order it here for 10% off- These lab grade strips test your ketone level through urine in seconds. You can also test the blood.   It is more accurate but the stripes are costly.  So, the “pee strips” are our method of choice.  They are very easy way to know if you’re in ketosis or not.  We starting testing on day 4 and were both in ketosis!  If you need help getting or staying into ketosis I would suggest these also with the following supplement.
    5. Decide if you want to add Keto Supplements to your diet- After about a week of a little trial and error we were ready to take the next step.  I did some research and decided to try Perfect Keto.  We LOVE this product.  You can order it here for 10% off. I highly recommend the Keto Basewhich we used daily to keep our bodies in Ketosis.  Lee drinks it in the morning as a mid morning pick me up and I drink it right before a workout to help boost energy level. You can have up to 3 serving per a day.

 

In no way am I a Keto expert.  I just believe that this is a natural, fun way to help reduce my PCOS symptoms.  I will be posting my recipes and journey along the way!  If you have any questions or would like to join me follow along on our Instagram @Stylishgenerations. I will keep you posted if a baby Hall is in my future!

XOXO, Brittany

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A Little About Ellen

Ellen Caldwell, personal stylist in HoustonEllen was chosen as a top personal stylist in Houston, Texas by CBS Houston! I graduated Summa Cum Laude from Houston Baptist University with degrees in Finance and Business Administration.

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